QB Coach Dave Warner One-on-One

While Spartan fans will be looking at all of the changes on the field, one coach may be the most watched as he looks to replace the teams top player at the hardest position quarterback. GSN talks with Dave Warner about this and more in this special One-on-One breakdown.

One thing new Michigan State quarterback coach Dave Warner knows is life can take some very strange twist.  Last spring Warner was cutting his teeth taking over for the departed Dan Enos as QB coach for Mark Dantonio at the University of Cincinnati, this spring he's starting his first spring as the Spartans QB coach taking over for Dan Enos whose moved to running backs when Coach Dantonio took over at MSU.


But while things may have been strange for others coming into a situation of replacing the same coach two years in a row, Warner knows his longtime college background prepared him well for just such a thing.


As a three-year letter winner at Syracuse, Warner began his coaching career as a graduate assistant working with quarterbacks and offensive backs.  After a few years he'd take his craft and move to Kansas as their quarterbacks coach and build a relationship with Mark Dantonio that continues today.  Over the next eight seasons he continued to grow as he became offensive or passing game coordinator for three programs and then wide receivers coach for Southern Mississippi.  After a year away from the game Warner received the call from his former coaching friend Mark Dantonio and took over at Cincinnati when Enos left returning to Michigan State.


After helping the Bearcats use two quarterbacks and become bowl eligible Warner was offered the chance to move to East Lansing.  While Dave and his wife Leigh Ann looked at Cincinnati as a place to lay some roots both have been around the game enough to know this was a chance they couldn't pass up.


"Dave, as you know we really looked at Cincinnati as being a place to lay some roots and stay for a longtime.  Leigh Ann had just opened up a business of her own and we were very excited about the way the program was going.  While it's never easy to make these moves and while we're still in the process of getting the business sold and moved, we knew this was a great opportunity and one we couldn't pass up."


While Spartan fans will be looking at all of the changes being made on the field, no one coach may be looked at more than Warner as he looks to replace Drew Stanton after a successful career at the helm of the Spartans offense.  What should Spartan fans expect to see this spring?


"I feel we've got a very talented quarterback returning in Brian Hoyer.  While he does lack some experience he's had the chance to take some serious snaps last season and showed he's got the skills to play the position at this level.  As you know Dave, everyone will start off on an even keel with us and have to earn their position this spring.  But I really like what I've seen out of Brian.  He's got quick reflexes and a very strong arm to go with a great field presence.  His start in the Penn State game gave him some experience in game management and I feel he's really starting to understand the position."


One question I had for Coach Warner dealt with him taking over for Dan Enos while Enos stayed on the staff at a different position.  Were there any issues when this occurred?


Dave you know Dan and he's a great person and coach.  I know the situation is unique but it's really been no problem.  I took over for him at Cincinnati and saw what type of a quarterback coach he was in how Dustin Grutza and Nick Davila were prepared.  I really feel this is great for the program because no one knows everything and this allows me and Dan the chance to work together for the betterment of the team.  He's only been removed from the system for a season and it didn't take him long to pick-up our terminology again."


With spring practice just a few days away I felt it only fair to find out what Coach Warner hoped to accomplish when the spring game was over.



"Our goal would be to have a starting quarterback in place when spring ball ends.  This would mean we've found a team leader in the spring and one that can continue in this role we'd hope during the summer headed into fall camp in August.  While we'll open up the competition again in camp we hope to have a player step up and become the leader of this team.  We have two scholarship players at the position at this time and we'll add two more in the summer.  I really like the talent we've assembled and look forward to working with the kids."


When talking about incoming freshmen Kirk Cousins and Nick Foles the Spartans quarterback coach was eager to speak highly of the two newest quarterbacks.


"We really feel that Kirk was overshadowed due to the number of quality quarterbacks in Michigan last year.  He camped here last summer and Coach Enos was able to work with him and felt he was as good as any other quarterback out there.  He's got tremendous passing ability and is a very good student on and off the field.  He's very athletic and we went and watched him play basketball and were sold on his overall athletic ability.  We also saw a quarterback on film that did a great job in decision making and that is something as you know is needed in our offensive system."


"Nick is a big strong kid who is a tradition drop-back passer.  He's got great size and arm strength.  As you know he's coming off an injury but at this time he's ahead of schedule.  We spoke with his doctor just last week and he said that Nick is way ahead of the timetable they had him slated for.  So we can't wait to get him in camp and see what he can do."


Anytime there is a coaching change there is always talk of how the players have reacted towards the new staff.  How did Coach Warner feel the transition had gone since the staff arrived?


"Dave we've been received very well by the players.  In fact you could say they opened their arms to us and were very excited about the change.  Winter workouts were received very well and the players all worked hard.  Attendance was excellent and everyone is excited to get on the field here in a few days."


While every position will see its share of changes the quarterback position may be the most watched.  GoSpartans.net will be talking with each position coach over the course of the next several days to get the latest on the position and the coach in charge of taking the Spartans to the next level.  I'd like to thank Coach Dave Warner for taking the time out of his busy schedule and talking with GSN and also thank MSU Associate AD John Lewandowski for his assistance.


Last but not least I'd like to send out a Birthday wish to Jackson Warner as he turns three years old this week.

The Warner Family minus daughter Alexandra.

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